Anton Zaslavski (Russian: Антон Заславский;), (born 2 September 1989) better known by his stage name Zedd (pronunciation: //), is a Russian-German record producer, DJ and musician. He primarily produces electro house music, but has diversified his genre and musical style, drawing influences from progressive house, dubstep, and classical music. Zedd grew up and began his career in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Zedd's best-known productions to date are the songs "Clarity" featuring Foxes which charted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number one of the US Hot Dance Club Songs; and "Break Free", a song which peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, fitting his first song to do so. Zedd won the Grammy award for Best Dance Recording at the 56th Grammy Awards for "Clarity".
Anton Zaslavski was born in Saratov, Russia. He moved to Germany at the age of four and grew up in Kaiserslautern. He is a classically trained musician, born to two musicians. His father Igor Zaslavski is a guitarist and schoolteacher and his mother is a piano instructor. He began playing the piano at the age of four and drums at twelve. He has an elder brother, Arkadi, and a younger brother, Daniel. In 2002, Zaslavski began playing for the German deathcore band Dioramic, signed by Lifeforce Records. Zaslavski's interest in producing electronic music was piqued after hearing † by French electronic duo Justice.
2009–11: Early beginnings
He began producing electronic music in 2009.
Under the name 'Zedd', Zaslavski has produced a wide variety of remixes and originals. He won two Beatport remix contests in 2010; his first original release, "The Anthem", entered the Beatport Electro house chart in the top 20.
His remix of Skrillex's "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" additionally entered the Beatport Electro House chart, peaking at number 2. He has after produced remixes of well-known artists, including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Periphery and others. Zaslavski creates his music using the Cubase suite of music production applications, and uses plug-ins such as the Sylenth1, Nexus, SynthMaster 2.6, and Omnisphere synthesizers, and the Kontakt sampler.
In September 2011, his single "Shave It Up" premiered as a thirty-second teaser on Skrillex's YouTube page, this being Zedd's first release on OWSLA records.
In 2012, Zedd signed with Interscope Records and released his debut single from the label, "Spectrum", with vocals by Matthew Koma. It shot to the top of Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs. He then produced the Eva Simons song, "I Don't Like You", which was additionally released on Interscope. He additionally produced and co-wrote the third single "Beauty and a Beat" with Max Martin for Justin Bieber's third studio album, Believe.
On 12 October 2012, Zedd released his debut studio album, Clarity, with "Spectrum" as the album's lead single. "Clarity", featuring British singer-songwriter Foxes, was released on February 1, 2013 as the album's third single. It was a commercial success; it not only charted in the Top 10 of Billboard Hot 100, but additionally on various international charts. It sold for 2,238,000 copies and certified platinum, making it Zedd's most successful single to date. The song additionally became #1 most played on American radio in September 10, 2013. Zedd held his first Moment of Clarity World Tour from August to December 2013 in 5 continents.
Zedd worked with Japanese singer, Namie Amuro and produced her promotional single, "Heaven" for her album Feel. Zedd would later work with her again in 2015 for her album, genic, although none of his songs were actually featured in her album.
"Stay the Night", featuring Hayley Williams, was released as a single on September 10, 2013, as part of the deluxe version of Zedd's album. The song met similar success, although it was criticised for its lack of uniqueness and less powerful lyrics compared to "Clarity". It ranked in Billboard Hot 100's Top 20, and certified platinum as well.
In 2013, Zedd produced "Aura", "G.U.Y.", and "Donatella" on Lady Gaga's 2013 album, Artpop. On 26 January 2014, he released the single "Find You" featuring Matthew Koma and Miriam Bryant, which is included on the soundtrack for the film Divergent.
On 3 July 2014, Ariana Grande released a song with Zedd entitled "Break Free", which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. The song was nominated at the Teen Choice Awards in the category of "Break-Up Song". On 18 December 2014, Moment of Clarity, a documentary about Zedd and his 2013 world tour, was released through his YouTube channel.
2015–present: True Colors
After taking a break of 6 months, Zedd announced the completion and release of his second studio album, True Colors. On 23 February 2015, Zedd released his collaboration featuring Selena Gomez, "I Want You to Know". The song was co-written by Zedd, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and KDrew. The song is nominated for "Choice Party Song" at the Teen Choice Awards and made it to #1 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Songs and #17 on Billboard Hot 100.
Zedd released his second single, "Beautiful Now" featuring Jon Bellion, on May 13, 2015, releasing his album 5 days later. The album peaked at number 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs, and has ranked at additional various international charts. On 17 July, the third single from the album, "Papercut", featuring Troye Sivan, was released.
Tours and concerts
- Moment of Clarity World Tour (2013)
- True Colors Tour (2015)
Awards and nominations
|2013||American Music Awards||Zedd||Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||"Clarity" (featuring Foxes)||Artist To Watch||Nominated|
|2014||Grammy Awards||Best Dance Recording||Won|
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||EDM Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top Dance/Electronic Song||Nominated|
|Clarity||Top Dance/Electronic Album||Nominated|
|Zedd||Top Dance/Electronic Artist||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music – Electronic Dance Music Artist||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||"Stay the Night" (with Hayley Williams)||MTV Clubland Award||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Zedd||Best Push Act||Nominated|
|DJ Awards||Best Electro DJ||Nominated|
|2015||Teen Choice Awards||"I Want You to Know" (with Selena Gomez)||Choice Party Song||Nominated|
|Choice Theme Song||Won|
|American Music Awards||Zedd||Favorite EDM Artist||Nominated|
|2016||iHeartRadio Music Awards||Dance Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top Dance/Electronic Artist||Nominated|
|True Colors||Top Dance/Electronic Album||Won|